This Friday marks Utah's first ever statewide effort to bring Utahans together in 24 hours of unprecedented giving to support the organizations that make Utah special. With high hopes the University's friends and community members will rally for the school they love, Southern Utah University is hopeful to mark the inaugural "Love Utah, Give Utah" campaign with an unprecedented day of giving for SUU.
Helping expand charity across the state, this Friday, March 22, all Utahans can help fund 368 nonprofit organizations across the state in Love Utah, Give Utah. The organizations will, in turn, pay it forward to the people they serve. Here at SUU, those people are our students, and all funds generated through this 24-hour campaign will go toward scholarships for the more than 1,000 Thunderbirds who attend SUU on scholarship each year. Specifically, funding will be funneled through the University's Recruitment and Retention Fund, which gives scholarships to students with high academic achievement but little financial support to make their college dreams a reality.
The Utah Shakespeare Festival, the University's premier arts partnership organization, is another possible recipient of the generosity of southern Utahans who love all SUU's campus has to offer. Funds raised for the Utah Shakespeare Festival will go toward funding this year’s summer season and its educational programs.
And the University's Community Engagement Center is a third option to which those who love SUU may direct their giving. Donations will support the community programming the Center does across the county, including Wee Swim, free swimming lessons for Head Start preschoolers and their siblings; SUU Discover, weekly story time at the Cedar Public Library; We Be Groovin', a weekly after-school dance program at East Elementary; Paiute Center Tutoring, where SUU students assist Native American youth; After School Sports, a weekly sports and leadership program for local middle school students; Alternative Breaks, eight day humanitarian service trips by SUU's students; and the Iron County Holiday Assistance program, providing Christmas to over 1,000 Iron County children each year.
“If people are concerned about what’s going on in their communities and the potential loss of support for crucial organizations in our state, then supporting these organizations is vital,” explained Fraser Nelson, executive director of the Community Foundation of Utah, the organization sponsoring the Love Utah, Give Utah effort.
The goal behind this dedicated day of giving is to showcase how simple it really can be for every citizen to give back to the organizations that give them so much. Even a small contribution of $10 can, collectively, make a big impact when combined with gifts from other fans of an organization.
In fact, an anonymous donor to SUU has generously offered to match all donations given to the University on March 22, up to $3,000, doubling each individual's impact and expanding opportunities for students in need.
The day is simply about showing the love according to SUU's donor relations coordinator, Janet Borg. "Even small donations truly can and will help, especially this Friday when gifts will be matched, turning a $5 donation into $10 for our students."
The Guild of the Utah Shakespeare Festival has also offered to match all March 22 donations toward the Festival, up to $2,500.
Of the statewide campaign, every citizen can, of course, contribute to the organization of their choosing but are encouraged to give where they live to help build a permanent future for institutions in their community.
Donations will be taken on March 22 at loveUTgiveUT.org. Search for "Southern Utah University" or the "Utah Shakespeare Festival" to give to these campus organizations you love. With the added ease of technology, Utahans can also use their smartphones and tablets to donate during the 24-hour window with SUU's Love Utah, Give Utah QR code.